- Pure GT experience and capability
- Visually stunning
- Beautiful V-12 growl
- Bang & Olufsen rivals Bowers & Wilkins, for our money
- Exclusivity and sophistication
- No dual-clutch or other advanced transmission option
- Not the quickest of its peer group
- Low-end navigation system
features & specs
The 2016 Aston Martin DB9 GT shines as one of the most beautiful cars on the market, and it delivers the elegant performance of a powerful grand tourer.
The DB9 is scheduled to be replaced by the DB11 in 2016 but for the 2016 model year it gets a host of changes and a new name: DB9 GT. The output of the 5.9-liter V-12 increases by 30 horsepower, the interior changes over to the AMi II touch-sensitive infotainment system, and the exterior gets some tweaks as well. We're smitten with the British brute.
The DB9 GT is offered as a two-door coupe or convertible, which Aston Martin calls Volante. Both are 2+2 ground touring cars with a small back seat and a large V-12 engine.
After more than a decade on sale, the Aston Martin DB9 still manages to capture imaginations and snap necks when it passes. The DB9 endured an attempt to replace it with the Virage, which only lasted a couple of years. The Virage was no slouch; but the DB9 is that iconic.
First and foremost is the look. The DB9 GT is gorgeous. Low and wide, the DB9 GT features swoopy lines and sexy curves. A rear spoiler creates a flip up at the rear and the lines all angle downward to the iconic Aston Martin grille up front. For 2016, the exterior gets black paint on the splitter and diffuser, revised headlights and taillights, new 10-spoke 20-inch wheels, and black anodized brake calipers.
Exclusivity carries into the cabin, where tightly fitted leather and sharp wood or carbon fiber trim keep the DB9 relevant. A touchscreen dominates attention in the center stack, but the crystal-tipped keyfob is what we're gaga over. The overall look is sophisticated, rather than techno, with a simple elegance that's hard to match.
For both the coupe and DB9 GT Volante convertible, the V-12 displaces 5.9 liters and produces 540 horsepower and 457 pound-feet of torque. The jump in horsepower lowers the 0 to 60 mph time by 0.2 second to 4.4 seconds, and the car builds to a top speed of 183 mph. The DB9 GT is a grand tourer, through and through: it's quick, sharp, and its engine pronounces its arrival before its good-looking shape has arrived. A 6-speed automatic clicks through sharp shifts with the paddle shifters, but it's lacking the drama and fun of a throttle-blipping dual clutch. Fuel economy is hardly the DB9's priority, and it's not a reason to pick one: the EPA rates the DB9 at 13 mpg city, 19 highway, 15 combined.
The DB9's bones are solid, and the aluminum body and chassis don't disappoint. Ride and handling are excellent, and the DB9's careful balance belies its 3,800-pound weight. It's not as heavy as some in its category, but it's probably bigger than most expect.
For that reason, the DB9 doesn't have the same immediacy of other more nimble cars like the Porsche 911. The DB9 is certainly still athletic, and its adaptive suspension makes the most of the considerable heft. In Normal mode, the DB9 manages to soak up imperfections in the road, Sport mode can chase up a canyon road. Bumping the DB9 into Track mode is a great way to spend a day, and if you do, congratulations on your great success in life. Although the adaptive suspension spans a wide range, we say the DB9 GT is still pretty firm compared to just about any other car.
More on that track idea: The DB9 GT comes with carbon ceramic brakes as standard, which not only arrest the car in a shorter distance, but also are better at dissipating heat and resisting fade on a long, hard day at the track.
The rear seats of the DB9 are predictably hilarious, and we wouldn't suggest anyone with legs to attempt to ride in the back. The front seats are luxurious and spacious, however, and we can't think of a finer way to chew up the miles on a long road trip. A composite sport seat package offers the option of getting rid of the second row, and the loss is less than the gain. The DB9 GT's trunk is relatively small, and we imagine more will use the rear row (or hole) for luggage anyway.
In addition to the aforementioned changes, Aston Martin is offering a limited edition Bond Edition DB9 GT to commemorate the release of the latest James Bond movie, “Spectre.” Limited to just 150 examples worldwide, the Bond Edition is painted Spectre Silver and features unique 20-inch black-painted wheels with diamond-turned accents, gray calipers, a carbon fiber splitter and diffuser, and Bond Edition fender badges. Inside, it gets numbered sill plates with the Bond logo, a Bond gun logo embroidered on the hump between the rear seats, and the One-77's squared-off steering wheel. Buyers also get Globe Trotter luggage and an Omega Seamaster Aqua Terra James Bond Limited Edition watch.
Standard features in all DB9 GTs include a pop-up navigation screen, a rearview camera, and automatic headlights. The navigation system continues to be a weak spot in the Aston Martin ownership experience, as it is a simple Garmin setup that seems out of place in a high-end car. In case you're not entertained enough by the super car itself, the DB9 includes an optional Bang & Olufsen 1,000-watt audio system that's on par with similarly pricey options from Bentley, Rolls-Royce, or Ferrari. A carbon fiber package can add touches of the light-weight material inside and out, but we think it may miss the mission of the DB9 GT anyway; we like the leather headliner—unless you have the droptop version of course.
For 2016, Aston Martin has priced the DB9 GT from $199,950 and the DB9 GT Volante from $214,950. The Bond Edition runs $237,007. Delivery and destination fees (not included) are $2,825.